E Visa FAQs

Monday, February 5, 2024 - 02:16

The path for an entrepreneur from STEM OPT or H-1B


I'm on F-1 OPT with a STEM MS Degree. If I put a startup, I will be performing my roles directly related to the degree.

1) To establish employer-employee relations would having a board of directors be sufficient during STEM OPT?

2) If I apply for EB2-NIW and get I-140 approval then can I immediately shift to other non-tech roles within my startup (CTO -> CEO) Or do I have to wait for 6 months before doing that, all the while when I-485 is pending?

3) If I shift immediately and use I-485 EAD instead of F-1 EAD, then can that lead to I-485 being rejected?

Should I wait at least 6 months before using I-485 EAD? Also, if the startup fails, does that discontinue my I-485 process having approved I-140?



Video URL

Wednesday, July 19, 2023 - 23:59

Legal options and factors for a future stay in the USA; not selected in H-1B lottery, Master's Degree, and passport renewal


Currently, I am holding a STEM OPT from May 2022 until May 2024 (2 years).

My employer had applied for H1B this year and last year but had no luck.

Question and suggestion, please:

1) What are my legal options?

1.1 Apply for H1b next year in March and wait for the result, In case H1b is picked, how do I process it as my STEM opt expires in May 2024?

2) Enroll in university for the Master's degree?

2.1 I have a few classes remaining for my master's as I have finished my bachelor's degree in the USA and I take Day One CPT? Once a master's degree is complete, reapply for OPT and STEM OPT.

2.2 Should I continue to apply for H1B in the meantime?

3) If I apply for Master and Day One CPT, do I need to enroll for May–August 2024 (the summer class) or can I enroll for Fall 2024?

Note: STEM OPT Expires: May 15, 2024, or please suggest any other better option to stay in the USA.

Lastly, my passport expires in May 2024 as well. Is there any problem there?

- I'm thinking of starting the process for the renewal online. Should I do it now or wait for some time?



Video URL

Thursday, October 12, 2017 - 08:31

Current Immigration/Visa Options for Entrepreneurs


What are the requirements to get a visa and green card as an international entrepreneur? Is the start-up visa effective?


Watch the Video on this FAQ: Current immigration/visa options for entrepreneurs

Video Transcript

A few options for Entrepreneurial Visas:

You could come in on E visa, H visa, O visa or TN visa and eventually get a green card based upon various other options including EB-1A if you are extraordinary qualified individual or EB-5 if you are making the required amount of investment and creating the jobs necessary under the rule. 

You can also come in through L-1A if you have a foreign company you have worked outside for that company for at least one year as an executive or managerial employee, you can start a company or buy a company in the United States and transfer yourself or your key managerial employees or employee to the USA. L-1 is the fastest way of getting a green card because L-1 is potentially processed within a few weeks because you can file premium processing and once you are in the USA you can file a EB-1 based green card which will get you seen through the process normally within a year, sometimes as little as three to five months. More ...

Note: This is a verbatim transcript of the referenced audio/video media delivered as oral communication, and, therefore, may not conform to written grammatical or syntactical form.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015 - 07:39

Enter USA while Green Card is Pending on B-1, B-2/H-1 Visa


I am US citizen and planning to sponsor green card for my sibling. My sibling has already visited US in B-1/B-2 visa few times and holds that visa for another few years.
I know that this kind of application takes 10+ years to approve. From this context in mind, I have few questions -<br>

1) Can my sibling enter United States on the same B-1/B-2 visa after I apply immigration application?<br>
2) Can my sibling apply for renewal or new B-1/B-2/H-1 visa while application is being processed?


See clip from Attorney Rajiv S. Khanna's conference call video that addresses this question.  


FAQ Transcription

There really is no statute law that specifically prohibits such an entry. Well maybe there is something that says you must have nonimmigrant intent but the question is can they do it. Theoretically  yes they can enter on a b visa while the green card is pending especially when something is pending for 13-14 years they maybe allowed an entry but they can be disallowed an entry at any point of time. So there is no guarantee that the B-1/B-2 option either the renewal of the visa or entry at the airport will be permitted on a indefinite basis. You could be stopped any time.  However H visa, L visa, E visa and O visa are some of the visas that are not subject to the problem of green card pendency. These visas can be utilized. Also remember a green card can be filed through several different categories at the same time. So if your sibling qualifies for other categories they can apply under all the categories available for them. So H-1 visa is no problem b but B-1/B-2 no guarantee.

Thursday, February 10, 2011 - 03:29

E-3 dual intent


I am married to a permanent resident of America, and have filed for a spouse visa (I130) in Sept 2010. Is it possible for me to apply for the E-3 visa with the spouse visa being processed, or does it demonstrate dual intent?


E-3 is not a clear dual intent visa. BUT, govt. tends to lean in the direction that they will permit dual intent as long as you clearly intend to leave if not permitted by law. My suggestion would be to avoid testing the E-3 limits in our current environment.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011 - 03:00

E-2 visa


Can someone apply for E-2 visa ,who now residing in USA,is it possible and how long it will take?


Yes, they can. I believe premium processing is available for E visas. If you opt for that, it could take a few weeks.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010 - 23:44

E-3 & Diversity Visa Application


Could entering the Diversity Visa Lottery have an adverse effect on a future application for an E3 visa?


No, I do not believe it would have any affect.

Thursday, July 8, 2010 - 09:05

H-1B and E-3


I was working in US on E-3 visa before H1B. Which means I entered USA earlier. When does my 6 years clock starts?


In that case, your 6-year clock begins to run on the date you converted (changed status) to H-1.

Thursday, June 3, 2010 - 03:52

E-3 for performer


As an australian actor/singer and teacher...would an E3 work for me and could an agency act as an employer in that case?


E-3 visas are available only for those jobs that demonstrably require a bachelor's degree in the field of work you will be performing. We recently provided assistance in an E-3 visa for a Shakespearean actor and teacher who was coming to teach acting classes in USA. He would probably not have qualified as an artist under E-3 visa, because to be an actor, a bachelor's degree in performing arts is usually not required. But as a teacher, a bachelor's degree was indeed required.

Monday, April 12, 2010 - 15:09

E3 visa, did not join company


My E3 visa was applied and approved through an employer. I never joined the company or got paid. Are there any legal implications to the company as a result of me not taking employment with the company?


The employer should withdraw your application.

Thursday, April 8, 2010 - 16:36

E-3 Visa - Accountant


I am Australian Citizen with Accounting Degree and looking forward to apply for E-3 Visa. Do I need to have job offer letter from the employer. How big the employer should be?


You do need a job. The company does not have to be a specific size, but it should be large enough to require a professional accountant (not just a book keeper).

Wednesday, February 24, 2010 - 06:44

E3 to H4


I am in the US from Australia and just lost my job as an Engineer. I was on an E3. My wife has an H1B and is employed. Since E3 restrictions give about 10 days grace period, our immediate option is for me to go to an H4. Does anyone know how long this process usually takes if I am currently in the US and what I may have to do.


Just go to Canada or Mexico and get your H-4 stamping and come back. That should work.

Monday, February 22, 2010 - 06:31

E-3 Visa


Are E - 3D visa holders allowed to work as freelancers?


To the best of my knowledge - no. You need an employer.

Friday, January 29, 2010 - 07:14

E visa


My sister's family lives in Sydney. They own a restaurant business. Can they move here with E class visa and open their restaurant here in States? She is not a citizen of Australia yet, but her husband and son is.


There are three kind of E visas: E-1, E-2 and E-3. You are probably thinking of E-2. Please read up on them. The primary applicant must be a citizen or national of the country in question. Their family can come as derivative beneficiaries.

Thursday, October 22, 2009 - 07:54

Business on E2 has closed. Need help


My husband and I came over on E2, he was partners as a mortgage broker, due to economy the business did not make a good profit and attorneys have said that we will not get E2's renewed. So rather than keep throwing money away the business has closed its doors. We have approx $600k invested in the US in property. This is owned outright. I have been to college an got a diploma, with a 98.6GPA. Apparently this is of no consequence when it comes to staying in the US. Any advice of what else we can do. We need to act quickly. We are looking at losing over $200k to move back to UK. Due to economy.


You can apply for B visa to stay for a few more months. You cannot do business on that visa, but at least you will be able to sell when the time is better. Details are on my blog.

Thursday, October 15, 2009 - 03:04

E-3 and TARP


I was wondering if the "Employ American Workers Act" applied to people who apply for the E-3 visa ? The act, from my understanding has restrictions on the H-1B and companies that have taken TARP funds.


As far as I recall, TARP focuses only on H-1 employees. See my blog article with links to the law: http://forums.immigration.com/blog.php?b=94

Tuesday, August 25, 2009 - 04:20

May B-1/B-2, E-1, E-2, F-1, H-1, J-1, L-1 O-1 visa or TN holder apply for green card?


May B-1/B-2, E-1, E-2, F-1, H-1, J-1, L-1 O-1 visa or TN holder apply for green card?


One of the questions I am asked quite frequently is whether or not an E-1/E-2 visa holder can apply for a green card and not jeopardize his or her E status. The answer is PROBABLY yes he can.

In the E visa context, this is what the govt says:

(TL:VISA-404; 04-29-2002)
An applicant for an E visa need not establish intent to proceed to the United States for a specific temporary period of time. Nor does an applicant for an E visa need to have a residence in a foreign country which the applicant does not intend to abandon. The alien may sell his or her residence and move all household effects to the U.S. The alien's expression of an unequivocal intent to return when the E status ends is normally sufficient, in the absence of specific indications of evidence that the alien's intent is to the contrary. If there are such objective indications, inquiry is justified to assess the applicant's true intent. As discussed in 9 FAM 41.54 N4, an applicant might be a beneficiary of an immigrant visa petition filed on his or her behalf. However, the alien might satisfy the consular officer that his and/or her intent is to depart the United States upon termination of status, and not stay in the United States to adjust status or otherwise remain in the United States regardless of legality of status.
So, are they saying they will apply the same standards as given in the note below? I THINK that is what they are saying, but this is not clear.


(CT:VISA-803; 04-27-2006)

L aliens are specifically excluded from the intending immigrant presumption of section 214(b) of the INA and are, furthermore, not required to have a residence abroad which they have no intention of abandoning. In addition, INA 214(h) provides the fact that an alien has sought permanent residence in the United States does not preclude him or her from obtaining an L nonimmigrant visa (NIV) or otherwise obtaining or maintaining that status. The alien may legitimately come to the United States as a nonimmigrant under the L classification and depart voluntarily at the end of his or her authorized stay, and, at the same time, lawfully seek to become a permanent resident of the United States. Consequently, the consular officer's evaluation of an applicant's eligibility for an L visa shall not focus on the issue of temporariness of stay or immigrant intent.
There exists in law something called the "doctrine of dual intent." This doctrine permits nonimmigrants to have immigrant intent. In other words, even though, you are coming to USA on a visa that is temporary, you may pursue your green card (exhibiting intent to live in USA permanently).

By law, L-1 and H-1 holders are PERMITTED by the doctrine of dual intent to have their green cards pending. This is beyond question. That your green card application is pending can never be a ground for denial of your H or L visa application (includes H-4 and L-2).

As I have noted above, E-1, E-2 visas have an unclear situation. It appears the consulates WILL permit them dual intent, but may not(???). They do NOT have the same level of protection as H and L visas but usually consulates will permit dual intent.

The following visa types have no such protection and their vise or entry into USA can be denied if they have a green card application application in process: B-1, B-2, F-1/F-2, J-1, J-2.

O-1 is allowed to have an immigrant intent (by regulations - though not by statute).
Pursuant to 8 CFR Section 214.2(O)(13)
(13) Effect of approval of a permanent labor certification or filing of a preference petition on O classification. The approval of a permanent labor certification or the filing of a preference petition for an alien shall not be a basis for denying an O-1 petition, a request to extend such a petition, or the alien's application for admission, change of status, or extension of stay. The alien may legitimately come to the United States for a temporary period as an O-1 nonimmigrant and depart voluntarily at the end of his or her authorized stay and, at the same time, lawfully seek to become a permanent resident of the United States.

TN is also not allowed dual intent, but are often not questioned on their green card pendency.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009 - 01:34

Employee's complaint for non-payment of salary-E-3, H-1B and Non H-1B


I (a software consultant) have EAD from my current employer(consulting firm). My employer holds my salary abruptly without any notice or reason. When pressed why? after the salary date passes by without getting paid, the general excuse given is "The bill is not collected from the client" , though there is no such contract between us wherein my salary is dependent on the accounts receivable/ collection. I want to know
a- Can they do it legally?
b- What are my options including can i sue this employer despite being on EAD?


Your best bet is the local State Workforce Agency for the State where you are employed. If you are not on H-1, this is the way to go. They will recover your salary. And, it does not cost you anything.

Here is the link to the SWA's for non H-1B workers http://www.doleta.gov/regions/reg01b...ources-SWA.cfm

H-1B and E-3 workers, go here:

Your best bet is the local State Workforce Agency for the State where you are employed. If you are not on H-1, this is the way to go. They will recover your salary. And, it does not cost you anything.

Here is the link to the SWA's for non H-1B workers http://www.doleta.gov/regions/reg01b...ources-SWA.cfm

H-1B and E-3 workers, go here:

To complain to ICE, go here:

Thursday, October 2, 2008 - 01:00

E-3 Issue


I am an Australian citizen currently on a B2 that expires in Oct. I lodged I-539 application for extension in Aug and received I-797 receipt Aug 25.
I may have found an employer that will sponsor me on an E3 visa (Australians only). All I need is a letter of offer and a completed Labor Condition Application.
To apply for the E3 visa though, I need to leave the USA and visit a US consulate. I do not have my original I94 any more (I submitted it with my I-539) but I do have a copy of it. Once I get a letter of offer, I will travel to either Toronto Canada or home to Sydney Australia to apply for the visa.

Qo1. Can I still leave the USA without the original I94?

Qo2. In the event my E3 visa is denied, will I be able to re-enter the USA from Canada without the original I94, provided my stay in Canada is less than 30 days? (And how would this work if I take the trip up there after the expiration date of the original I94? Remembering that my B2 extension is pending)


 Ans1. Yes. You should not need an original I-94 to travel out.

Ans2.  You probably cannot reenter using a copy of the I-94. Not only that, your departure from USA renders your pending B application void (considered abandoned).

They way I see it, you have two choices. Wait for B extension before you go for E stamping. Or, go for E stamping bearing in mind the consequences of abandonment and reentry not assured.